Dear Fellow Reader,
Do you know where you get your reading ideas? I frequently forget how I heard about a book. Sometimes they are best sellers, sometimes they are older releases that someone suggested, and sometimes they are books that came across as sale books on BookBub that sound interesting. (I receive a daily email with eBooks that are on sale. You can sign up at www.bookbub.com.)
I do remember how I came across this week’s book. It was on BookBub as a sale eBook. The description was interesting and so I followed the link and read about the book on Amazon. I was intrigued. The Grey Mask was originally published in 1928. The author is British and (I almost hate to bring this up as you may be sick of my love for mystery series.) it is the first book in a series. There are 32 books in the series and the series was written between 1928 – 1961. There are 32 (!) of these books and I have never heard of them before. I feel so dense!
Now for my next surprise. I went to see if it was available on eBook from the library. It was available but there was a line! Not a bad wait but a wait none the less. So, the book is 89 years old and there is a line of people waiting to read it. Now, I just had to read this book. After a few weeks, I received notice that I could check out the book.
There are two things that I want to tell you about the book right away. The first is that if I didn’t know the book was so old that I would not have realized it. There are a few words here and there that I was unfamiliar with but that can sometimes happen with books by British authors. These books (Okay, I have read 2 so far.) are ageless.
The other thing is that I am not sure that I have read a mystery of this style before. Miss Silver is the detective in the series. I know more about her from reading the book description than I do from reading the books. According to the description on Amazon, Miss Silver is a governess turned detective. Most of the story is told by the character who hires Miss Silver to investigate a problem. While Miss Silver has people out making inquiries and seems to have connections, the person who hires her continues to investigate on their own interspersed with meetings with Miss Silver.
In Grey Mask, Charles Moray has returned to England after an absence of four years. He had left when Margaret, his fiancé, broke off their engagement a week before the wedding. He left without receiving an adequate explanation as to why the engagement was broken off. While he was gone, his father died and he inherited the family house. Upon his return, he went over to the house one evening and found a clandestine meeting taking place. He eavesdropped and felt that something needed to be done about what he heard. He was reluctant to go to the police because Margaret was involved. A friend of his recommended that he see Miss Silver.
Charles finds himself more and more tangled up in the web woven by the man in the grey mask. With the help of Miss Silver, the mystery is solved.
I have enjoyed the first two books in the series. They are interesting studies of human behavior and they present interesting mysteries with not completely predictable endings.
Have you heard of these before? To me, they are an undiscovered gem.
Thanks for reading!